So officially I left the UK on the 5th of April 2016 but due to certain circumstances, I’ve had to return a couple of times. Therefore, the 7th of May marks one whole year, 365 days, away from home.
To celebrate this occasion, I have compiled a list of the highlights of my trip. These are in chronological order so there’s no bias.
When I was in Norway I participated in a Fjord Tour by boat that took us along the western coast and we even got to drink fresh water direct from the mountain. The hike through the mountains was also a big highlight for me.
Eating a varied selection of bugs and insects was a strange but fascinating time, I tried all kinds of beetles; locusts, meal worms, and a handful of other suspicious delicacies. This happened in a small village in France.
Touring around Spain was really interesting, both the scenery and the history of the country intrigued me. Two standout points were the Alhambra in Granada and seeing live Flamenco performances in Granada and Seville.
Over three months in Italy I participated in a ton of exciting things but the biggest highlights for me were the Bread Festival in Zagarolo; we ate a selection of homemade specialties served on bread and drank our body weight in beer. Through my Workaway host I also got to attend a local Youth Festival (where I actually got up on stage with the dj), a very special night with some locals learning about their Buddhist faith and even travelling to Pompeii to hike up Mt Vesuvius.
I know a lot of people who also went, but I really enjoyed the Turkish baths in Budapest, nothing particularly special about them, it was just a good day.
When I was in Austria, I had one objective; to see the Opera. I attended a performance of The Barber Of Seville at the Volksoper for the incredibly reasonable price of €4 (£3.51)!
Slovenia in its entirety was a massive plus for me, from the hospitality of the locals in Metalkova, to the natural beauty of Lake Bohinj and Lake Bled, all the way to the underground caverns of Postonje.
Even after being thoroughly searched by border control, I was still able to enjoy my time in Bosnia, I visited the abandoned Bobsleigh Track from 1984 and also joined a tour of Mostar which took us to pivotal spots in the war and even natural waterfalls.
Montenegro as a whole was a massive highlight, in fact, I think it’s one place in would quite happy settling down in. There are a tremendous amount of hikes available and spectacular scenery everywhere.
Just last week I was in the Former Yugoslav Republic Of Macedonia (FYROM) and had a fantastic time, from the hidden hidden cave churches of Lake Ohrid to the Sveti Naum monastery, all the way to hiking up Mt Vodno in Skopje.
And on Friday I hiked 24km through the Enipeas Gorge in Greece. That was a naturally beautiful area but absolutely destroyed me.
Well, that was last year, here’s to many more years of excitement…